Another day another Avengers 4 theory, but this one could see the return of our beloved Agent Coulson, who may just be the one to save the world after Thanos deadly snap.
Fans of the MCU will remember the heartbreaking moment that Coulson, the man who was overseeing each and every Avenger, died at the hands of Loki in 2012s The Avengers.
But if you dont watch the TV series Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D, you wont know that he was actually bought back to life by Nick Fury who used a drug derived from an ancient Kree corpse, an idea that was part of Project T.A.H.I.T.I. (Terrestrialized Alien Host Integrative Tissue I), which was only to be used if an Avenger had died.
Unfortunately the project saw test patients develop psychosis and hypergraphia and Coulson shut it down – but Fury had Coulsons memories of the project replaced so that he could move on with no recollection.
Since then, Coulson has spent the last five seasons of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D saving the world time after time and all the while dealing with the after-effects of Furys decision, but in the last few episodes of season five it was revealed that the Kree DNA had burned away, leaving him slowly dying.
And now, as fans wonder how Earths mightiest heroes will defeat Thanos, one fan has suggested that Coulson may in fact be the key.
First of all, its important to know that Clark Gregg, who plays Coulson, is appearing in Captain Marvel which will be released the month before Avengers 4.
With Captain Marvel focusing on the Kree, a militaristic alien race, this will give audiences an important back story and understanding of their power – and will also bring Coulson back in the minds of audiences.
Now, in S.H.I.E.L.D, the young seer Robin Hinton had claimed that only Coulson could bring the pieces together after he went missing, but this prophecy never appeared to come true as Coulson was not involved in the final fight and, as Reddit user StrawHatJedi suggests, was never part of the narrative function of providing a unifying force for the team.
But what if that prophecy was nothing to do with the battle faced by the S.H.I.E.L.D team and instead the one facing the now defeated Avengers after Infinity War?
They played the audience throughout season five, goes the theory.
Robin is great at playing the pronoun game and the temporal displacement of her consciousness adds an air of ambiguity to everything she experiences and says. When she says “they” can save the world, she refers to both the S.H.I.E.L.D team and the Avengers, referencing both the battle against Gravitron and Thanos.
The manner in which Robin speaks allowed the writers to place hints throughout the season for future events.
The sixth season of S.H.I.E.L.D has been pushed back to air in July 2019, three months after Avengers 4 hits cinemas, and with the movies written well in advance of the TV series, it allows the show runners time to put Coulson back in a particular place to re-integrate his story with the films.
Thus, we see him at the end of season five with his Kree DNA disappearing and his second death imminent, ready for him to appear in Avengers 4 resurrected where he will pull the pieces back together.
Those pieces of course, being the reunion of Tony Stark and Captain America, a fractured team who have still not dealt with the events of Civil War, and the deaths of many of the heroes after Thanos snap of his fingers.
Plus, as Reddit user StrawHatJedi adds, the writers of Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D conveniently avoided the influence of the snap, taking events of the finale [of season five] right up to the point where chronologically they coincide with those of Infinity War.
The timing of production, film / show release dates, and the fact that both general audiences and AOS fans have left Coulson in virtually the same place lead me to believe this theory holds considerable weight, they said.
Imagine, this scenario; Captain Marvel somehow finds Coulson in Avengers 4, heals him with Kree tech or discovers some other means by which to keep him alive.
General audiences, now familiar with the Kree due to Captain Marvel, will fully understand when Coulson steps back on screen either bearing or recovering from the injury received from Loki, and crediting Kree technology for his revival and the scene will make perfect sense without any reliance upon Project T.A.H.I.T.I. or any of the events from the five seasons of Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Obviously the lines would have an additional layer of significance / meaning to fans of the show, but they would still make perfect sense to the average moviegoer.
Marvel has yet to confirm if Gregg will in fact be returning to the big screen in Avengers 4 but Marvel TV president Jeph Loeb admitted earlier in 2018 that the Avengers will one day discover that Coulson is still alive and it may get resolved in a very surprising way.
Turning up to save the day after you just lose a battle with Thanos? That would be one heck of a surprising reunion.
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